SteriRob – Sensor system for the Identification and Handling of sterile surgical instruments

The processing and deployment of sterile surgical instruments is of critical importance for the feasibility and security of surgical operations. Lack of personnel in combination with the need to cut costs result in an increased error rate in the sterilization process. Acting on the initiative of hospitals, an interdisciplinary consortium consisting of industry and research institutes has been formed to address this issue. Goals of the project include development of a handling-concept for individual instruments as well as for trays, a “localization and identification”-concept. By combining data from various sensors, including data transmitted from RFID tags located on the instruments, a precise determination if the instrument location is generated to support the instrument handling.


  • Lehrstuhl für Medizintechnik, RWTH Aachen
  • Institut für Regelungstechnik, RWTH Aachen
  • Fraunhofer IMS
  • Uniklinik Aachen
  • Uniklinik Essen
  • SurgiTAIX AG
  • Aesculap AG
  • IT4process GmbH
  • ID4usGmbH


This project is funded by the "Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung" (BMBF).
(Project term: 03/2019-08/2022)
Project number: 16ES0902


  • J. Heibeyn, M. Witte, S. Billig, M. Schweizer, A. Janß & K. Radermacher: Ergonomic RFID tag placement on surgical instruments – a preliminary user study. Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik, 2024, Onlinefirst [DOI: 10.1515/bmt-2023-0514]
  • J. Heibeyn, M. Witte & K. Radermacher: Decontamination of a robot used to reprocess reusable surgical instruments. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2024, 143, pp. 1-7 [DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2023.10.009]
  • J. Heibeyn, M. Kremser, A. Janß & K. Radermacher: Analyse der Potentiale einer robotischen Handhabung einzelner Instrumente in der AEMP. Zentralsterilisation Abstractheft 26. Fachkongress der Aufbereitung von Medizinprodukten, 31, 2023, pp. 36-40
  • J. Heibeyn, J.-Y. Son, A. Janß & K. Radermacher: A Comparative Evaluation of Assistance Systems for an Instrument Reprocessing Workbench. In: J. Kalra (ed.): Emerging Technologies in Healthcare and Medicine, 116, 2023, pp. 146-155 [DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1004366]
  • J. Heibeyn, N. König & K. Radermacher: Greifer zum Greifen von Objekten. German patent request DE102020118730A1, 2022
  • J. Heibeyn, P. Gödde, P. Görtz, A. Janß & K. Radermacher: Ermittlung von Leistungsfaktoren im Rahmen der Instrumentenaufbereitung zur gezielten Workflowunterstützung. Zentralsterilisation Abstractheft 25 Jahre DGSV e.V. - 24. Fachkongress der Aufbereitung von Medizinprodukten, 29, 2021, pp. 7-9
  • J. Heibeyn, N. König, N. Domnik, M. Schweizer, M. Kinzius, A. Janß & K. Radermacher: Design and Evaluation of a Novel Instrument Gripper for Handling of Surgical Instruments. Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering, 2021, 7(1), pp. 1-5 [DOI: 10.1515/cdbme-2021-1001]